Guernsey Press

Roffey suggests St Martin’s site for key worker housing

The former St Martin’s Hotel site could be used to fill the gap in key worker housing provision, in the wake of plans for Le Bordage Seath being scrapped.

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Employment & Social Security president Peter Roffey said contact has been made with the owner of the St Martin’s Hotel site. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 32926098)

Employment & Social Security president Peter Roffey welcomed P&R’s decision to scrap key worker housing plans on the green field by the Princess Elizabeth Hospital, announced this week.

His department has been driving forward plans for more key worker housing, as there have been challenges with recruiting much-needed staff due to a lack of housing.

He said that while ESS obviously wanted housing to be built, he felt that there was no realistic possibility of building work commencing on the green field site.

‘The previous P&R were chasing unicorns. There was no obvious route to planning, and the area in question is an agricultural priority area which is contiguous with farming and so subject to tight planning policies,’ he said.

‘It also happens to be a very beautiful area, and there has been a huge number of objections from the local community to the Development & Planning Authority.’

He was confident that enough key worker housing could be delivered in conjunction with the Guernsey Housing Association through the three potential key worker housing sites at the former CI Tyres site in La Charroterie, the nearby Braye Lodge Hotel and at a field in Les Oberlands.

He also suggested sites including a field by Duchess of Kent House next to the hospital, and the former St Martin’s Hotel as other options.

‘I believe States Property Unit has been in contact with the owner of the St Martin’s Hotel site as one of the possibilities outlined in the draft development framework for the site is for it to be used as key worker housing.’

A development framework for the former hotel – which is situated about a mile away from the hospital – was recently published.

It highlighted that the site on Les Merriennes could be used to create 112 units of either sheltered housing or key worker housing.

A States Property Unit spokesman confirmed there had been talks with owner of the privately-owned site.

‘SPU has been in contact with the owner of the St Martin’s Hotel site as part of the service’s normal operations and overall strategic property responsibility.’